Just to get the juices flowing and to ease back into the review game, this week I’m reviewing podcasts that are dedicated to comics. For years I’ve listened to requests for Itunes reviews from many a podcaster, but since I don’t use Itunes this never happened. Well, that has recently changed and finally I can meet this request. So here’s an overview thoughts on some of my favorite podcasts. They all got five-star reviews from me at Itunes.
This podcast is the toast yo. Austin and David are friends that on one then more occasion kissed each other, sometimes hold hands and emotionally abuse one another. They are not gay however, but are perfectly fine with all kinds of gayety. Oh, and they like to talk about comics. Comics is the center topic of this podcast but, be prepared for discussions that happily flow miles, and miles off track, some fine absurdist humor, totally unfounded claims, unresearched journalism and a bunch of cock jokes. Whether you are interested in killing Giraffes, using fictitious drugs, listening to friends having a good time or just hearing about comics, this is one of the most entertaining comic podcasts out there.
Week after week for seven years now, Josh, Conner and Ron have reviewed the most recent comics. The Ifanboy pick of the week podcast is the number one resource for eloquent and well thought out reviews of comics, brought to you in a tight well produced format. Also, it doesn’t hurt that the hosts pack more than enough of the funny. The podcast offers views on indie darlings as well as big two blockbusters, all delivered through distinct personal voices of three very opinionated individuals (don’t be fooled by the preconception of Josh being the Vertigo guy, Ron the X-men guy and Conner the indie guy). Besides reviewing the latest Wednesday’s issues, the guys also review a book of the month on the podcast (which is almost always a trade paperback, hard cover or an original graphic novel), answer questions of the Ifanbase and feature some of the community feedback on comics. The experience, enthusiasm, and amount of thinking that the Ifanboys put in their podcast, makes it a cornerstone of the world of comics podcasting.
11 O’clock Comics
Four mikes. Four voices. Four laughs. Four drinks. Four tastes that can range quite far apart. This is the antithesis to the well-structured and tightly produced Ifanboy podcast. Here are four guys enjoying each other’s company and just letting it rip while talking comics. Sure there are a couple of recurring items (the introduction, the drink roll call and the ‘in your travels’ section), but mostly this is a free style form of comic podcasting. Surprisingly, with most episodes exceeding the two hour mark, listing to the ramblings of Vince B, friendly chuckles of David Price, analytic mind of Jason Woooooooooooood or the grumpy-when-drunk Christopher Neseman never gets tired. Maybe this is because of the perfect blend of contemporary popular and indie comics spiced with splashes way back or because of the weird, absurd or even offensive material that Vince B brings to the table. A fact is that these gentlemen are very experienced comic readers and have a fine eye for the technical details (be it inking, lettering or coloring). Their recommendations have more than once led me to a more than satisfactory purchase and even more important they have provided hundreds of hours of entertainment.
Awesomed by Comics
Now this is a weird one, but a fun one. Hosted by the incredibly creative and talented couple of Evie Nagy and Aaron McQuade, this weekly-ish award show is like the Oscars, if Oscar was a podcast hosted by two journalists who just got a baby who therefore have little time left to spend on podcasting, however when they do get around to podcasting they are sure to make you laugh. Just like the Oscars Evie and Aaron each give out awards to comics and creators that they were awesomed by and some that they decidedly were not awesomed by. The comic reviewing is enriched by Evie’s quick wits and Aaron’s genuinely funny musical skits (Watching porn with Greg Land, anyone?). Sure, they may not be a weekly podcast anymore for the foreseeable feature, but when a new Awesomed by Comics MP3 file hits the internet, it’s pure comic book podcasting gold.
And now for a more local flavor, I will be switching to Dutch, because this is a Dutch podcast dedicated to the Dutch geek scene:
Neerland’s eigen podcast geweid aan alles wat met de geek cultuur te maken heeft. Comics, games, fantasy, toys, etc. Geekstijl schuwt geen onderwerp (een recente aflevering werd geweid aan mannelijke My Little Pony fans) en staat altijd open voor feedback of onderwerp suggesties. De presentatie ligt in handen van de bevlogen fanboys Arrie ten Wolde, John Lopez en Gert-Jan van Oosten. Dit strak geproduceerde en professioneel klinkende programma bevat behalve het laatste geeknieuws, wekelijks ook een comic aanrader en een interview met personen uit de Nederlandse geek-scene in de breedste zin. Niet alleen is het fijn om tussen het Amerikaanse podcast geweld ook eens een ander geluid te horen, maar de brede insteek van deze podcast is verfrissend te noemen in een tijd waarin iedere podcast zich op zijn eigen niche lijkt te gaan richten. Zo heb ik zelf als fervent comic liefhebber al menigmaal geboeid geluisterd naar voor mij verrassende praatjes over onderwerpen als bord- en kaartspellen.
Host John Siuntres, the godfather of comic podcasting, describes his show as a comic book conversation podcast, in which he talks to the creators and all kinds of other people that work in or around the comic industry. With his insightful discussions John provides for a very interesting peek behind the curtains. Whether it’s recurring big shot guests like Brian Michal Bendis and Jeph Loeb or industry veterans like Martin Pasko and Neal Adams, John gets them all and has spent hours and hours of frank, friendly and above all entertaining discussions with them. Siuntres is an experienced radio maker, and this is evident from his radio friendly voice, which he has honed for years on local Chicago radio stations. His voice, together with his impressive roster of guests and the astute conversations he has with them makes this a veritable recommendation.
War Rocket Ajax
Another great comic book interview show, with a bit more format then say the Word Balloon podcast. Hosts Chris and Matt ostensibly want to destroy the earth through the awesomeness of their podcast. I’m not entirely sure they are succeeding, but at least they are producing some minor natural disasters around the world, and their awesomeness may actually contribute to global warming. Besides interesting guests from in and around the world of comics, this podcast is a monument to Chris’s love for cartoons (both the good, the bad and everything in between) and video games as well as (weirdly enough) his nostalgic love for the skater magazine Thrasher, from which he now and then lovingly recites letters.
That’s (more then) all the comic podcasting I have time to listen to. When my commute was longer I listened to these and the following, which I also highly recommend but do not listen to on a regular base:
Smodcast, Kevin Smith and Scott Mosier shooting shit together. Pretty funny, most of the time.
Hollywood Babble on, or HBO, Kevin Smith and Ralph Garman’s showbiz podcast, also spending a little attention to geek news. Guaranteed to make you laugh!
RadioLab, making difficult subjects understandable and relatable in a beautifully produced podcast.
MATES, or Mike and Tom Eat Snacks, for fresh insights into the world of snackology and the best improve comedy.
I hope somebody finds a usefull recommendation in this list. Next week I’ll be back to review every comic I have read. Allthough to be honest I don’t think it will be a particulalry long list (Au contraire)…